Tuesday, April 05, 2011
Heavy Metal Be-Bop #2: Craig Taborn
I'm happy to announce that the second installment of Heavy Metal Be-Bop, my jazz/metal interview series, is live at Invisible Oranges. Once again, a big thanks to site honcho Cosmo Lee for hosting and for lending his editing and layout expertise to the project.
My guest this time around, Craig Taborn, is more or less the main inspiration behind the series, and I speak a bit about that (specifically Taborn's connection to the Gorguts universe) in the intro. I also mention Taborn's seemingly boundless metal knowledge, but I feel like I ought to note that this knowledge extends way beyond a single genre. Taborn has his iTunes hooked up to his TV, so I got a chance to check out his music library; I have to say, it might be the most diverse and comprehensive collection I've ever seen. I hope he won't mind me listing a few of the artists I spotted in there: Springsteen (Nebraska), This Heat, Thelonious Monk, Arcade Fire, Stravinsky, Sonic Youth, Henry Threadgill's Air, the Walker Brothers, Shudder to Think, Muddy Waters, Descendents. (He even had craw in there, which—as any regular DFSBP reader could guess—absolutely blew my mind. It turns out he went to college with their early-period drummer, Neil Chastain!) Looking at that list now, it doesn't scan as terribly unusual (everyone's got a world of music on their iPod these days), but the point I'm trying to make—a point hopefully illustrated in our conversation—is that Taborn is an especially deep listener; he really gets inside all of these different areas. That may be one reason so many different bandleaders call on him regularly. Dan Weiss, my first Heavy Metal Be-Bop guest, made all this explicit during a recent appearance on WKCR's Musician's Show. Listing the personnel for the new Dave Binney album, Graylen Epicenter—on which both Weiss and Taborn appear—he shouted out Taborn's insider nickname: Encyclopedia Tabes. Having spent time with the man, I assure you that it's an accurate moniker.
I hope you enjoy this installment of Heavy Metal Be-Bop. I have another interview in the pipeline, which I hope to publish soon, but I'm definitely on the lookout for future subjects. Can you think of anyone who might be able to shed light on the jazz/metal connection? If so, please let me know via e-mail or the comments.